Friday, April 28, 2006

Weekend Wonderings -- Sin and Poverty

I have a post partially-written about my experience on the junior retreat earlier this week, but in the meantime .... two tidbits to share:

One of the leaders spoke of her friend Joe and his 5-year-old son. Every night they would say their prayers, which includes:

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace.

One night Aidan asked his dad, "What's the 'sin of the world'?" Joe was stopped short, unsure how to answer. The next night, he told Aidan: "The sin of the world is not caring. "

We also watched a video/slide show with vaious images of poverty. Afterwards, we discussed what we felt and thought while viewing it. The other leader pointed out that, while we were watching the people through the camera ... what would the folks in the pictures think to see video of us?

So, my questions, thoughts, and wonderings?
What, for you, is the sin of the world?
What would "those people" think and feel to see a video of us?
Happy Sunshine, everyone!


Blogger Dennis said...

Ok, I'm going to sound like a total theocon here, but...

I kind of wish people would get the translation right. "Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi" is "Lamb of God, who takes away the SINS of the world..." Sins is plural. Yeah, I know in English we say "you take" instead of "who takes," but that doesn't change the meaning. But changing "sins" to "sin" does change the meaning, if only slightly. It changes it slightly enough so that a child might ask the question "What is the sin of the world?" as if the world had this one big sin.

Oh, if I had only one sin! How cool would THAT be?

Anyway, I'd say that if there was such a thing as the "sin of the world," it would be the sin of loving the world more than God. That would about cover everything bad I've ever done, and probably everything you've ever done, too.

4/28/2006 4:21 PM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

I always wondered as a kid why we'd say that first line twice. Wouldn't peace be a bigger deal for everyone? In the Agnus Dei, it sounds like an afterthought. 'Take away the sin(s) of the world, take away the sin(s) of the world... and oh, grant us peace.' (And for the record, at St. Ferdinand's, which is the church I grew up in, it was sins, plural.)

I suppose if I'd grown up with it as sin (singular) I'd think of it differently. But 'take away the sins of the world,' to me, was something individual and personal for every person on earth, like the sorrows of the world (this person is grieving for this reason, and this person is grieving for a different one, and so on). There is no singular sin nor sorrow. Even a gray cloud is comprised of millions of drops of water.

So, given that different meaning, the sin of the world is the collective sin, that gray cloud, that can of worms, that collection of idioms and phrases, hooking up words and phrases and clauses.

And what would 'those people' think of us? I have no idea. In college (and years afterward) I dated someone who regularly spent long stretches of time in war zones and places of vast inequity. And my parents would not let me go - I thought for my safety, but now when I think about it I think it is because that would have forced them, too, to see how horrible it is for those people. My friend would go through a mini-breakdown with each return to the States. Go to the grocery store and pretend you've never seen such bounty before. I defy you not to feel shame, grief and even a bit of hysteria.

And, I believe, they'd feel the inverse.

4/30/2006 10:55 PM  

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